FAKE RUDRAKSHA BEADS

In the interest of the consumer and for the purpose of education RRTL presents these pictures of fake Rudraksha. These beads are sold in large quantities by unscrupulous people taking advantage of the gullibility and lack of knowledge of customers. The typical price at which they are sold ranges from few thousand rupees to lakhs of rupees. The Nepali round 1 mukhi Rudraksha is the most common among the fake beads available in the market.

A fake Rudraksha with a Trishul. One of the most common fake beads of Rudraksha are those which have a Shivaling, Trishul, or Om appearing on the surface of the bead. Mostly these are carved on simple wooden pieces to appear like a Rudraksha.

A fake Rudraksha with a Trishul and Om carving.

A fake Rudraksha bead with an Om carving.

A fake Rudraksha bead with a Shivling carved on surface

This is 2 mukhi flat bead from South India available abundantly. The line at one end is left as it is and the other line is manually altered to carve a lingam, a snake, or a Trishul. This is most commonly sold fake 1 mukhi.

1 mukhi bought from Malaysia. It is nearly four inches in diameter and looks and feels like a Rudraksha. However, it is glued with Rudraksha pieces.

Above is fake 1 mukhi made by distortion of four lines in a 5 mukhi Rudraksha. The x-ray shows it to be a 5 mukhi Rudraksha.


This is the most commonly sold variety of fake 1 mukhi. This is actually a 3 mukhi oval bead of Indian origin and not from Nepal. Other lines are skillfully obliterated leaving only one line. Can be identified by sight.

A fake half-moon shape from China. It is commonly sold in market and dissolves on wearing and melts near heat. Surface is hard and not wooden.


This is a synthetically manufactured bead sold as 1 mukhi in religious places of India by roadside hawkers. Pictures show top view and side view. Can be detected by sight only.

This is a seed with a skillfully carved line sold as a Rudraksha species bead. Can be detected by sight due to the presence of smooth scales on the bead which is unlike the thorny protrusions on Rudraksha beads. Usually sold capped in gold or silver to avoid seeing the drilled hole of the seed.


This a 5 mukhi Rudraksha bead in which all lines except one are hidden by sticking black glue. Pictures show two different views. Sold widely

A commonly sold variety from Indonesia. In this bead small pieces of Rudraksha are glued on four of the lines of a 5 mukhi bead thus leaving only one deep line. Can be detected by dipping in hot water for 2-3 hours. The other hidden lines would show up in a different color as the glue softens. Pieces chip off on regular wearing.


Above is another very commonly sold variety.This a giant ball like piece usually given a sandalwood like odour. Small pieces of Rudraksha are glued on a seed and a line is carved externally. Has a natural stem implanted to give the “look”. Pictures show the outside view and the inner section after opening it. Filled with edible gum.


This has Om, Trishul and snake head carved and glued on 2 mukhi Bhadraksha beads. Sold commonly as 1 mukhi all over India and abroad. Pictures show two different designs having 1 hood and 3 hoods.

A fake 24 mukhi carved out of Betel nut, plaster and paint. Notice the clean central hole and uniform lines that reveal its fake nature.


These are fake beads made by joining together different sections of other Rudraksha beads to form one bead. Notice the central round small hole and the sharp mukhi lines, that clearly reveal it as a fake. Sold as 21 mukhi for high prices.


Above are pictures of a fake 25 mukhi.


Above are pictures of fake 20 and 21 mukhi beads.


Above are pictures of fake beads made by gluing together sections of several genuine Rudraksha beads of lower mukhis sold as 21 mukhi.


This is a fake bead made by gluing together sections of several genuine Rudraksha beads of lower mukhis sold as 14 mukhi.

It is common to carve additional lines in a lower mukhi bead to make a higher mukhi bead that costs more. The sharp unnatural lines are clearly visible to an experienced eye. Identification is performed by checking for color changes at carved line, cracked at the start and end of carved lines, and sharpness or line. A natural mukhi line is slightly curved and not sharp, hence an experienced eye is able to detect this.


Fake beads made by carving extra lines. Typically 6,7 mukhis are changed to 8-12 mukhis with this process. Or 12 mukhis are changed to 14 mukhis or more with this.


7 mukhi changed to 8 mukhi by carving one extra line.

6 mukhi changed to 8 mukhi by carving 2 extra lines. Notice the sharp carved line.


5 mukhi changed to 9 mukhi by carving 4 extra lines.

6 mukhi changed to 14 mukhi by carving 8 extra lines.


Fake mala of 108+1, 2 mukhi Indonesian beads.

Seeds of Ber tree which are colored and sold as Rudraksha beads mala. Can be detected by sight as no mukhs are visible.


Fake mala of 108+1 mukhiless beads.

Fake beads carved out of betel nut. Method commonly used to make high mukhi beads up to 21 mukhi.


Fake 21 mukhi carved from betel nut.

Fake Trijuti made from three Rudraksha beads ground and glued together.


Fake Gaurishankars made from two Rudraksha beads ground and glued together.

The pictures below are of underdeveloped 3 mukhi and 5 mukhi Rudraksha that are having only 1 mukh on the outer surface. On seeing the X-ray pictures of these beads one can see very clearly that they have actually 3 or 5 seeds inside. These types of Rudraksha beads are absolutely natural and no tampering has been done with the bead, but these beads cannot be considered as 1 mukhi Rudraksha because in X-ray pictures the seeds inside these beads are more than one. In some case it is 5 seeds and in some case it is 3 seeds.


Here is an underdeveloped bead showing clear 1 mukh. Underdeveloped 4 mukhs and 1 complete mukh can be seen.


An underdeveloped Rudraksha bead showing clear 1 mukh. Picture showing starting of mukhs with 1 clear mukh of underdeveloped bead.


An underdeveloped Rudraksha bead showing clear 1 mukh. The X-ray showing clearly showing 5 seeds making it a 5 mukhi.


An underdeveloped Rudraksha bead showing clear 1 mukh. Underdeveloped 2 mukhs and 1 complete mukh can be seen. The X-ray picture shows it clearly having 3 seeds.


An underdeveloped Rudraksha bead showing clear 1 mukh. Underdeveloped 2 mukhs and 1 complete mukh can be seen. The X-ray picture shows it clearly having 3 seeds.